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AI Clones, Beware: YouTube to Introduce AI-Generated Content Removal Requests

Photo by Andrea De Santis / Unsplash

YouTube has quietly rolled out a new policy (spotted by TechCrunch) allowing users to request the removal of AI-generated content that uses their likeness. The updated privacy violation policy lets individuals flag videos that have used AI to create or alter synthetic content resembling their faces or voices. Just in time for the ELVIS Act rollout, which is valid since July 1 of this year (only in Tennessee as of now) and basically gives an individual a right to treat their voices and protect them or intellectual property rights.

How is this going to work? The platform will consider various factors when deciding on removal requests. These include whether the content is disclosed as synthetic or altered, how easily identifiable the person is, and the realism of the content. YouTube will also assess whether the content can be classified as parody or satire and if it features a public figure engaged in sensitive behaviour, such as criminal activity, violence, or endorsing products or political candidates.

This policy is part of YouTube’s privacy violations category, not misleading content. Generally, YouTube requires first-party claims, with exceptions for minors, individuals without computer access, or deceased persons.

Once a complaint is filed, YouTube gives the video owner 48 hours to address the issue. If the content is removed within this timeframe, the case is closed. If not, YouTube will review the complaint. Removal means fully taking down the video and eliminating the individual’s name and personal information from the title, description, and tags if applicable. Blurring faces is also an option, but making the video private is not allowed since it could easily be made public again.

YouTube has recently rolled out other features, such as a Creator Studio tool for disclosing AI-generated content and a test feature for crowdsourced notes providing additional context on videos.

It's worth noting that YouTube is generally not against the use of AI, and labelling content as AI-generated does not automatically protect it from removal.